Eggplant is a Low Carb Option for People with Diabetes

Learn About the Benefits of Eggplant

Close-Up Of Eggplant In Plate On Table
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Type 2 diabetes management requires eating a healthy diet rich in non-starchy vegetables, lean protein, healthy fats and a moderate amount of complex carbohydrates that are rich in fiber. Oftentimes, people with diabetes have trouble coming up with healthy meal choices that include vegetables. They find that vegetables are boring, tasteless or unappealing in appearance. As a result, they get stuck eating the same old thing day-to-day, which may lead to cravings of other unhealthy foods.

When checking out produce for healthy additions to your diet, don't forget the eggplant. It's a low-carbohydrate, high-fiber vegetable that has infinite possibilities for adding variety to your meals. Eggplant can take on many flavors, too, which makes it easy to prepare too. 

What is Eggplant and How Can it be Cooked?

Eggplant is a member of the nightshades family, which also includes tomatoes and peppers. It has been said that many useful medications derive from this family. Most people know of the purple eggplant, but eggplants can also be white or striped, pear-shaped or cylindrical shape. They range in size as, and can be as small as a golf ball or as large as a football. 

Cultures all over the world use eggplant in their cuisines. From Italian eggplant Parmesan to Turkish baba ganoush to spicy garlic Japanese or Asian eggplant, eggplant is a tasty, filling and healthful vegetable. Because of its hearty texture, eggplant is often used as a meat in vegan meal plans.


Eggplant is easy to prepare. It isn't hard to slice and can be cut into rounds, cubes, wedges, strips etc. It can be sauteed, roasted, fried, grilled, baked, or steamed. Eggplant also pairs well with any variety of protein - chicken, fish, tofu, to name a few. 

Eggplant is Low in Calories and Carbohydrates and Rich in Nutrients

Eggplant is a non-starchy vegetable, which is low in carbohydrates.

For instance, an entire 1 pound eggplant has only 88 calories, 0.7 grams of fat and 21.1 grams of carbohydrate (less than two slices of bread), 12.5 grams of fiber, and 3.7 grams of protein. Eggplant also is cholesterol free, contains almost no sodium (7mg in one whole eggplant) and rates low on the glycemic index chart. Foods that have a low glycemic index don't raise blood sugars as quickly as other foods that contain carbohydrate. The fiber count is a whopping 18.6 grams if the eggplant is unpeeled.

1 cup of cubed eggplant has 20 calories, 0.2 grams of fat and 4.7 grams of carbs, and 2.8 grams of fiber.

Additionally, eggplant is rich in antioxidants which can help to reduce inflammation and fight off disease. It's a good source of potassium. ​Studies have shown that a diet rich in potassium, an essential mineral and electrolyte, can help to prevent stroke, high blood pressure and increase bone mineral density. 

How to Choose and Store Eggplant

When purchasing eggplant, aim to choose an eggplant that is free of cracks and discoloration.

Your eggplant should be clean, shiny and heavy for its size. Store your eggplant in the refrigerator and use it within 5-7 days of purchase. 

Good Ways to Cook Eggplant

Eggplant is a versatile vegetable that can take on many different flavors. There's more to eggplant than Parmesan, which can be a heavy, high-fat dish.

Updated May 24, 2016: by Barbie Cervoni MS, RD, CDE 


Fruits & Veggies More Matters. Eggplant: Nutrition. Selection. Storage.

Linus Pauling Institute. Potassium.

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